tv The Ed Show MSNBC February 10, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EST
that is "hardball" for now, the "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans, welcome to "the ed show" from new york. republicans are doing their best to start a culture war. what do you say we take them head-on tonight, let's get to work. progressives are trying to shutter, privatize, push them out. >> they can't hit the president on the economy, so they are starting a culture war. >> under this president's administration, there is an assault on religion. >> eugene robinson is here with reaction. >> we have reached a landmark settlement with the nation's largest banks that will speed relieved to the hardest hit home owns -- owners. >> ezra klein on the policy of the big bank settlement. bob shrum on the politics.
debate over contraception is exploding in the faces of republicans. >> the constitution unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. >> national organization of women president terry o'neill joins us with the latest. you can put that and work together and compromise. but we don't have shared goals with the democrats. >> it was day one of cpac in washington and it was ugly. >> before president obama was elected, no president had ever gone around apologizing to the world. >> we'll debunk the lies with joy ann reid and martin bashir. sean hannity released his evidence that the president didn't want to kill bin laden. tonight i will embarrass him again with the facts. good to have you with us, thanks for watching. republicans, they screamed bloody murder about class warfare, haven't they? americans, we haven't been buying it.
it's time to roll out the new war, the culture war, the past 24 hours, rick santorum fresh off the three-state win has said president obama is taking us down the road to the french revolution and guillotine. and soviet 8th is why i am. >> taking faith and crushing it, when you marginalize faith in america, when you remove the pillar of god-given rights, then what's left is the french revolution. what's left in france became the guillotine. ladies and gentlemen, we're a long way from that. but, if we do and follow the path of president obama and his overt hostility to faith in america, we're headed down that road.
>> the new shiney object in the culture war is the obama administration's position on birth control. requiring health care to include access to contraception. >> including employers affiliated with religious organizations. quite a discussion going on, but that is not the only thing republicans are screaming about. rick santorum is tearing in the reversal of proposition 8 in california. >> this is the intolerance of the left, the intolerance of the secular ideology, the most intolerant like we saw in the days of the atheists in the soviet union, it's intolerant. >> are we kidding? a couple of things are going on here, folks, in my opinion. rick santorum is trying to basically drag mitt romney further to the right to prove what a total phony mitt is.
but all three major republican contenders are realizing they can't win on the economy, so they are firing up the base with the old culture war. here's what i'm talking about. weekly, unemployment claims, they're dropping again. in fact to the lowest level since april of 2008. more good news, jobless claims are starting to fall again under president obama. where do you think this puts mitt romney, his chief argument against the president when it comes to the economy? it leaves him out in the field. he doesn't have anything to say. john kyl said there is not romney-mania now, he needs to shore up the weaknesses with the republican base. i'd say senator jim demint in the game said playing it safe, which romney tends to do is not going to go for him. well, look, romney is trying to jump on the culture war now. here we go. >> remarkably under this president's administration,
there is an assault on religion, an assault on the conviction and the religious believes of members of our society that religious organizations like schools, catholic schools, catholic hospital and so forth have to provide for free contraceptives and free morning-after pills. abortive pills for all of their employees. >> i think we're getting the picture here. santorum's french revolution, romney's assault on religion, wait a minute, one more. oh yeah, newt gingrich. here he is talking about president obama. >> he's basically declared war on the catholic church. every time you turn around secular government is closing in on and shrinking the right of religious liberty in america, i think there are millions of people disturbed by it. >> war, have any of these guys been to war? a culture war. and it's back in a big, big way. this is their best play right now. it's meant to appeal to these folks, the social conservatives.
because on economic issues, these candidates, well they are flailing, they got no name. these republican candidates are preaching to the red liners, the president of the united states is doing everything he can for the blue liners and we know what they have been through over the last 30 years. president obama came out with, here he is again, a mortgage plan. where were the republicans? i grant you it's not perfect, but he still is out there trying. here is mitt romney. >> stop the foreclosure process, let it hit bottom, investors buy the homes. >> the bain way. he wants foreclosure to hit rock bottom. he changed his tune in florida, he did that, didn't he? we can count on romney to talk out of both sides of his mouth. americans understands the president defends social security, medicare and medicaid.
they agree with his vision of a fair tax rate. they get it. americans get it. he's trying to help the blue liners, here is newt gingrich. >> the safety net in many ways has become a spider web, traps them at the bottom. conservatives trying tore years to develop a trampoline effect. >> this is empty rhetoric, the best bet for the gop candidates to focus less on the economic issues of america. because things are going a heck of a lot better. what is left? they can throw red meat to the national defense conservatives, that seems to work. president obama the problem here is he keeps killing terrorists, that screws that bullet point up. social conservatives, they will not be denied. it's easy for republicans to get ginned up in a culture war. for the gop, we're back where we were in 2004. it's gays, guns and god in social issues. when they go to cpac tomorrow
they will throw out red meet and you will hear them roar about the social issues because they have no game and no plan for anything else. i was at a gingrich event the other night bloomington, minnesota, he will repeal obama-care. the crowd is all nuts. he never says what he will replace it with. we will have double digit increases in health care, we never hear any plan from any conservatives. it's own your own health care. they don't have plans on the economy, they don't have plans on health care, they don't have a mortgage plan to help americans out the way the president did to it day. get your cell phones out, tonight's question, are republicans starting a culture war to disstrakt from their record -- distract from their record on the economy? 622639, our blog at ed.msnbc.com, we'll bring you results later on. i'm joined by eugene robinson, msnbc political analyst and associate editor and pulitzer prize winning columness
for the washington post. >> we have a culture war going on, down to the very bottom of the list like they were in 2004 when it comes to turning this country around or being a part of progress in america. is this the last really bullet they have in the chamber? if they want to win in november to drive home these social issues, what do you think? >> i think after this comes to making stuff up, ed, we've seen that in the past, too. i agree with your analysis that clearly they are going to the culture war, because the wary they are fighting on economic issues isn't going to work. it certainly isn't going to work for mitt romney with all those bain clips we have of him giving his solution to the mortgage crisis, his fondness for firing people and all that. that's not going to help him, certainly.
but fighting on social issues is red meat and what we're seeing santorum do, i think, is make the argument that this is what we got this year, we got the social issue, i'm better on this than mitt romney. >> what do you make of santorum? this guy is out there throwing the red meat, accusing the president of leading us down the path of the french revolution and guillotine! that is an hour of "psycho talk" but i can't do that tonight. why are they talking like this? >> well, where do they have to go? first of all, remember, rick santorum who in person is a genial guy, was really quite radically far to the right when he was a senator. it's just the republican party has moved so far to the right that he seems mainstream in the context of today's party.
and i think this is -- he senses this is his time, if you are going to make a move for the nomination, he has to make noise and get attention and this is the best he's got. so he's going to go for it. >> here is more from rick santorum, let's listen. >> we have to stop the radical policies of barack obama and get this country back to the founding freedoms and principles that make this country great again. barack obama has systematically in every single way tried to destroy the very foundational elements of our country. >> doesn't this border on calling the president of the united states a traitor? >> it certainly does and it's nonsense, every single way, really rick? is that true? he wakes up in the morning thinking how can i destroy america? it's ridiculous and frankly,
this is not going to strike most voters, especially independent voters in the fall if santorum were to get there, won't strike independent voters as realistic or anything but "psycho talk," that's what it is. people like barack obama and certainly believe he's patriotic, he's president of the united states! this is crazy. >> mitt romney is in a world of hurt as i see it right now, because he's not as conservative as rick santorum. santorum has the momentum right now he's terrible at faking the culture war stuff. i mean, romney just doesn't seem like the real guy. it's money now, isn't it? santorum is it his for the taking? >> here's the scenario, really, i don't think it's anybody's for romney's, but if romney in the next few contests doesn't show that he's still in control of this race, i think what you're
going to see is some of the big money folks and some of the establishment types really asking serious questions about romney's ability to go the distance and whether or not he's the best candidate to lead the ticket. now, let alone win the presidential election, but a weak candidate at the head of the ticket could spell bad news for the republican house majority, and even in the senate. so they are going to have to decide is it -- if it's not romney, is it santorum, a better choice than gingrich? some people think he might be because he's somewhat more reliable. gingrich could self-destruct at any time and we get to the whole sort of brokered convention talk. i don't even know if that is possible in this day and age, we could get there where we have to talk about it. >> gene robinson, thank you for joining us tonight. will be interesting at cpac tomorrow where the candidates show up and make their pitch.
answer the question at the bottom of the screen. share thoughts on twitter #edshow. a settlement by the nation's largest banks will help over a million homeowners fighting foreclosure. ezra klein on what it means for the economy, bob shrum on the politics. social issues were a big theme as we said at cpack, we have the highlights, with martin bashir and joy-ann reid. stay with us.
coming up a settlement by the country's largest banks will help out homeowners fighting foreclosure. is it enough? we'll visit with ezra klein and bob shrum next. nancy pelosi is looking to bring transparency to super pac donations. she is targeting ste phen colbert. the white house and church leader, terry o'neill will be here to tell us what the
today president obama announced five of the nation's largest banks have agreed to $26 billion settlement to help homeowners who were harmed by the housing crisis. bank of america, jp morgan chase, wells fargo, citi group and allied financial signed on. the president had harsh words for the fraudulent practices. >> millions of americans did the right thing and responsible
thing, shomd for a house, secured a mortgage they could afford, made their payments on time, were nevertheless hurt badly by the irresponsible actions of others. by lenders who sold loans to people who couldn't afford them. by banks that took risky mortgages, packaged them up and traded them off for large profits. it was wrong. and it cost more than 4 million families their home to foreclosure. under the terms of the settlement, america's biggest banks, rescued by taxpayer dollars will be required to right the wrongs. >> what does it mean? the settlement could reduce mortgage rates for one million homeowners, who owe more on their homes than they are worth. another 750,000 people who lost their homes to foreclosure between september of 2008 and 2011 will get checks for $2,000. in exchange, participating banks
will be off the hook for certain types of fraud investigations. but individual homeowners can still file suit. prosecutors can investigate many other practices that contributed to the housing bubble such as insurance, and tax fraud. 49 states attorney general signed on the settlement. the only one missing was from oklahoma, he thought the agreement was too hard on the banks. joining me tonight is ezra klein, msnbc pollity si analyst and columnist for "the washington post". >> a couple people think it's a good deal, the main thing about the deal it doesn't matter. it does in terms of the legally ability for the banks, in terms of the fairly small number of homeowners who will be affected but the numbers are stark. we have $700 billion in under water mortgage debt. this is a $26 million deal.
it will help some people and it's bigger impact might be in creating new ways that mortgage servicers interact with under water homeowners, so the procedural changes may end up helping people having a hard time but it won't change it dramaticity. >> eric schneiderman is moving forward with deeper investigation of the banks. is that where we see broader action taken against the banks? that is where we will see it? >> i wouldn't pre-judge, there is a bigger investigation going on, schneiderman is a fan, i was talking to greg sargent, freedom to move elsewhere, it should be said is one reason the deal is fairly limited in terms of the money because if they didn't take all the liability off the table, didn't get the banks out from everything, it dealt with the robo-signing element where they had automatic signing of the mortgage documents when they should have been signed by humans.
it was limited so the banks will be exposed to further legal liability going forward, we don't know how much, also homeowners are not -- it's not like the tbacco settlement. >> ezra klein, thanks so much. let's turn to bob shrum, democratic strategist and professor at nyu. the numbers are not big, why did the president do this? >> i think he's being pragmatic, he learned the lesson of the 1930s, unprecedented situation, you have to do what you can do, you can't live by the old rules, just i reject the idea we shouldn't help some people because we couldn't help all people. i think the president understood we don't gain anything, we could lose the economic recovery if we launched a big attack on all the banks and prosecuted them in insolvenyy. the president has a big mortgage rescue package in front of the
congress, the congress won't act on it. when he got up and said was we can't wait, he knows it isn't perfect, he is saying i'll use executive power, executive action get the states attorney generals together and do something. every day sending a message you were talking at the beginning of the show, the republicans don't have anything to say on the economy except let the mortgage crisis hit bottom. >> sure. >> and he will go out there and fight for middle class families. >> so the republican candidates quiet about this today. there must be something good about the deal. but the republicans were not at the table at any of this, does that hurt them polpolitically? >> i don't think it hurts them politically. what hurts them is the sense of do nothing congress that won't take on this issue, won't provide the kind of mortgage relief you could provide for folks. that is why the president says we can't wait. i can't do everything by executive action but i'll do everything i can. >> here what is mitt romney said about foreclosures.
>> don't try to stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and hit the bottom and allow investors to buy homes, put runters in them, fix homes up and turn around and come back up. the obama administration has slowed up the foreclosure process that long existed and as a result, we still have a foreclosure overhang. >> he's saying let the ship sink. how does that play? >> it doesn't play at all. when he got to florida he tried to talk his way out of that and say he meant the opposite. this guy over and over and over again, you can call it a gaffe, i think it's a self-revelation of who he really is. a guy with a lot of money, who doesn't understand what ordinary people are going through, and who over and over and over again reveals that. how can this guy sit with unemployed people and say i'm like you, i'm unemployed. >> rush limbaugh, he was not quiet about this, either, here it is. >> i know what obama is doing,
when he goes out like he did today or any other day and talks about people getting tricked. i know exactly what he's doing, you have to be careful when you describe it. but there is a racial component to this, we all know it's there, obama starts talking about bankers, now what does that wall street bankers, what does that mean to certain elements of our population? you know as well as i do what that means. and that -- obama's audiences the poor disadvantaged minorities, and the big, evil wall street bankers, everybody knows who they are, and obama is getting even with them. >> limbaugh is in florida one of the hardest hit states during the housing crisis. how does he not understand helping people at all, it isn't that big of a lift as far as the numbers as ezra was saying. this is the republican mantra. you're on your own. can we rename what limbaugh does?
trash talk radio, what he was saying is absolutely out rain us. the notion that you would connect this to race so that some how or other you could bring up the president's race, that has been a sub-text much of the criticism of the president, you look at the tea party rallies, they can't deal with the fact that a black man is president of the united states, that is why they call him alien. makes me proud he's there and he is not making racist appeals he's fighting for everybody. >> great to have you with us tonight, thanks so much. >> stephen colbert has the most powerful woman in the country upset. nancy pelosi takes down the pride of south carolina next. sean hannity says he has tapes to prove president obama did not want to kill osama bin laden. hannity released his tapes and they are a joke. stay with us.
disclose their donor also. in 2010 she got the act through the house but mitch mcconnell killed it in the senate. she is trying to revive the bill by attacking colbert's super pac. >> stephen colbert used to be my friend. i signed the poor baby's cast when he hurt his hand. when he started taking secret money from special interests he's been out of control. even using his super pac to attack my friend, newt gingrich. if that weren't enough, i hear he doesn't even like kittens. colbert must be stopped. i'm nancy pelosi and i support this ad, because americans deserve a better tomorrow today. join me in stopping colbert and creating a new politics free of special interests money, the first step is passing the disclose act. learn more at facebook.com stop colbert.
>> i love it but i'm willing to bet newt doesn't. it's halftime in america, i'm fearful of what the final score will be if we let this president start the second half as a quarterback. >> the bile was flowing in the nation's capital today. >> he's a terrible president. >> joy-ann reid and martin bashir of day one on cpac. this attack on the federal government must not stand. >> republicans are fighting a losing cause on contraception. now terry o'neill on the latest. sean hannity is letting blind ideology get in the way of facts. you don't want to miss his bogus response to the challenge i issued last night. say they'll save you by switching, say you'd have, like, thea ton of dollars.switching, but how are they saving you those dollars?
a lot of companies might answer "um" or "no comment." then there's esurance. born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency. so whatever they save, you save. hassle, time, paperwork, hair-tearing-out, and, yes, especially dollars. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. but think about your heart. 2% has over half the saturated fat of whole milk. want to cut back on fat and not compromise on taste? try smart balance fat free milk. it's what you'd expect from the folks at smart balance.
a washington d.c. marriott hotel. right wingers joined forces at the 39th annual conservative political action conference or known as cpac. while "the washington post" noted free enterprise is thriving, today's predominant themes were doom and gloomysteria over social issues. the health care policy on birth control coverage was hit hard. lectures ranged from conservative dating to the failures of multi-culturalism. like any good meeting of right wing minds, there was red meat. jim demint threw out the first helping. >> i can guarantee you that coach tom coughlin last week did not tell his giants to go out on the field, and to work with those other guys. the reason for this, and this is
a good analogy, the two teams had different goals. the patriots were there to beat the giants. compromise works well in this world when you have shared goals. but we don't have shared goals with the democrats, folks. >> really? interesting during the super bowl clint eastwood's commercial said this wasn't a game. i guess the republicans think it is. their goal, as we all know, is not one to help america but to defeat president obama and make him a one-term president. guy cut from the practice squad had his own super bowl reference to work in. >> if it's halftime in america, i'm fearful of what the final score will be if we let this president start the second half as a quarterback! >> the tin man had his moment in the sun despite his flubbed introduction, take a look.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable steve kin -- honorable john boehner, speaker of the united states house of representative. >> you got to pay the speakers more. i'm joined by msnbc host martin bashir and joy-ann reid, msnbc contributor and managing editor of thegrio. what a funny farm that was. >> poor john boehner. >> on a serious note, today a white nationalist was allowed to speak on multi-culturalism, while a predominant gay group was not invited, because they are just too aggressive. what are we seeing here? >> i think that it's unbelievable a party that has a minority problem with go to the founder of vdare.com, a known white nationalist and give him a panel. the american conservative union who did the invite, stood behind the invite is run by al cardenas, hispanic, one of the few hispanic conservatives, close to jeb bush, he's savvy on
the issue of trying to broaden the party, for you to do such an obviously kind of insane seeming thing that makes the party look like it's coddling racists, cuddling up to people who have extremist views. >> the attacks on the president were juvenile and barely intelligent. we had marco rubio who in attacking the president said "i don't know what the south african constitution says, but i know what the american constitution says" a barely concealed attack on the president's antecedents, the president's father comes from east africa, not south africa. rick perry said that he believed that ronald reagan was looking down from heaven and might be tempted to believe in reincarnatoin of jimmy carter. herman cain comes out and blames
gutter politics for the fact that he allegedly pushed his hand up a woman's security and ended up forcing her head toward his groin. so you have one guy who knows nothing about geography, another who knows nothing about cure at the -- courtesy. >> here is what rand paul had to say. >> to be fair the president doesn't hate all rich people, just those who don't contribute to his campaign. i have another question. another question for the president. do you hate poor people? or do you just hate people with jobs? >> does anybody believe this stuff? >> this is the problem. this is no way to broaden and build a party. the republican party has a core problem and it's this. barack obama won the white house in 2008 having lost the white vote by 11.6 million voters.
the reason he won anyway was because he won non-white voters by 24 million voters. if john mccain had the same electorate that bill clinton had in 1992, just that same composition of the electorate, john mccain would have beaten barack obama, they can't broaden out if they appear to be too close with racists, insensitive to minorities and just mean. >> there is no effort, hey we have the best policies for minorities, we have the best policies for those who are income-challenged right now. they make no effort. >> ed, you're hitting on the crucial problem, that is who is mitt romney? tomorrow he will be attending cpac as we know and the engagement party that nobody wants to attend. he's turning up hoping that he will receive that diamond-gilded engagement ring. they are not sure if they want to marry him. mitt romney started talking about his mormon faith.
he talked about experiences as a mormon minister, caring for people with depression and who suffered unemployment. i can tell you now, ed, the vast majority of evangelicals in that building to more oh believe mormonism is a cult. >> absolutely. they will not vote for a mormon although they won't say it publicly. >> they share mark twain's view of the book of mormon which in 1861 he described it as chloroform in print. that is what many of these people believe. that is why there is a problem. how do you win anybody when you can't win the party? >> santorum is moving in the polls, we'll have that later, martin bashir, joy-an reid, great to have you tonight. sean hannity says it was bush era enhanced interrogation techniques that got osama bin laden. he's wrong! again. stay tuned.
>> well, sean hannity is blowing smoke about president obama in his role in the killing of osama bin laden. last night on the show, i challenged hannity to explain this quote. >> the president will say we got bin laden, putting that aside. >> the public gives him credit for that. >> the public does give him credit for it but it wouldn't have happened if he had his way, that can be proven as well on tape. >> we showed you tapes proven hannity wrong. today he brought it up on his radio show he insisted we would not have found bin laden without the use of the bush era enhanced interrogation techniques, which president obama opposed.
his evidence was a tape of brian williams, an interview with former cia director leon panetta. >> can you confirm that it was as a result of waterboarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after bin laden? >> you know, brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here. we had a multiple source, multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation. clearly some of it came from detainees in the interrogation of detainees but also had information from other sources as well. >> so finer point, one final time, enhanced interrogation techniques, which has always been kind of a handy euphemism includes water boarding? >> that's correct. including water boarding. the very enhanced interrogation techniques that barack obama himself opposed.
>> nice try, sean. but john mccain, a victim of torture himself, went to leon panetta behind closed doors to find out if enhanced interrogation techniques specifically led to finding bin laden. here's what he learned. >> with so much misinformation being fed in this public delate i asked the director of central intelligence, leon panetta, for the facts. and i received the following information. the trail to bin laden did not begin with a disclosure from colleague sheik muhammad, who was waterboarded 183 times. the first mention of the name abu al kuwaiti as an important member of al qaeda came from a detainee in another country. the united states did not conduct this detainee's interrogation nor did we render him to that country for the purpose of interrogation.
>> no torture, no rendition, and i have more proof for you. ali suffant was an interrogator who questioned members of al qaeda. here what is he told new york magazine about the intelligence leading the united states to bin laden. this case is the biggest proof that waterboard lg and enhanced interrogation techniques did not work at all. i saw it firsthand it delayed the hunt for bin laden. the name of his coeurir came up in 2000 before kls was arrested. he knew and lied about it. if waterboarding work, ksm would have said the guy's real name back in march of 2003. these are facts, sean hannity, your blind ideology and hatred for the president of the united states, barack obama is clouding your judgment. this isn't about enhanced interrogation, it isn't about gitmo or rendition, it's about you, saying that you had tapes proving that president obama
didn't want to get osama bin laden. that president obama, if he had his way, would have never happened. if you ever have any doubts about whether obama had his way, remember what the president said. >> ask osama bin laden and the 22 out of 30 top al qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether i engage in appeasement. or whoever is left out there. ask them about that. >> hannity, even you can understand who really got the job done.
but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive.
it is time for the extreme right wing to stop playing political football with women's health. >> that is the story. welcome back to "the ed show." the political firestorm over women's health signs shows absolutely no sign of dying down. at the center of the controversy is a new obama administration policy requiring religiously affiliated hospitals, schools
and charities to provide birth control coverage in their employee health care plans. the rule exempts churches and it does not mandate any person to violate religious believes. if a person does not want to use birth control, they don't have to. no government official is going to force them to. what the policy does is give employees of their religious institutions the same access to birth control as every other woman. also, the new policy applies only to insurance carriers, not health providers. so if a catholic hospital objects to providing birth control to a patient, it is not required to. the law already exists in 28 states. yet catholic leadership says this violates the church's teachings. >> we can't compromise on principle, that is rewarding bad behavior. >> predictably the right wing sees a window of opportunity to attack women's health. >> if the president does not
reverse the department's attack on religious freedom, then the congress acting on behalf of the american people, and the constitution, that we're sworn to uphold and defend, must. >> yet majority of the american people and catholics are siding with the white house on this issue. people want access to birth control, 99% of women use it. not only is this a health issue, it's a labor issue. as our friend joan walsh points out on salon.com, what if catholics didn't believe in child labor laws? joe biden says the white house is trying to address concerns earlier he told a toledo, ohio radio station "i'm determined to see that this gets worked out and i believe we can work it out." terry o'neill is the president of the national organization for women, joins me again tonight. terry, thanks so much, a lot is in the news, i appreciate you coming back. is the white house caving on this, what do you think?
>> i certainly hope not. the catholic bishops tonight have to worry about getting elected or reelected. the fact of the matter is a politician who actively works to restrict birth control will pay a heavy price at the poll. >> some democrats are breaking with the white house, john kerry and others urging the president to compromise. why is women's health being politicized. why is this happening in 2012? >> it's striking to me how many male politicians are willing to use women's health as a political football. i would like to have a meeting with senator kerry and find out what he's thinking about. my understanding in fact is that catholic bishops have been in the capital, meeting with elected official, elected officials have not been meeting with the heads of women's organizations. i think any senator who intends to support any kind of legislation, for example, to restrict women's access to birth
control in their health insurance plans needs first to meet with the women's organizations. and what they need to understand is that it's not just women who will not support them at the polls, it's women and men. birth control is a fund mental part of a woman's health care and men rely on birth control as much as women do, to prevent pregnancies. >> are we casting aside the fact that the catholic church is an employer, they hire people, they pay people, they don't force people to come to work for them. but if they are going to be an employer, don't you think they have to abide by the laws, isn't this a labor issue as well? >> you know, ed, i think it is. i think it's important to remember that of course a religious organization has a first amendment right to religious freedom. so does an individual woman.
and whenever fundamental rights clash, as they do frequently in the democracy, we have to weigh the rights against each other. let's take a look at the rights of women that are being -- that would be deprived or violated by a rule that says employers are free to keep birth control away from women. it violates her right to religious freedom. she has a right not to have somebody else's religion shoved down her tloet -- here throat. >> it violates her right to privacy, the equal protection of the laws, violates her right not to be discriminated against under title vii of the civil rights act and violates her right not to be subjected to pregnancy discrimination. so when you look at all of the -- if you weigh the rights, clearly women's right to birth control outweighs the religious institutions religiously-inspired need to frankly sub order nate women.